I'm an avid animal lover an advocate. However, I'm very
recently (3 weeks) new to having the honor of a Congo
African Grey in my home. A fellow disabled veteran could
no longer care for him for health reasons and I adopted
He is a little over 2 years old. I say 'he' bc that's
what the fellow disabled vet thought he might be, but he
hasn't been tested.
He's been well socialized and does well with either
gender. He made the transition with very little
noticeable stress and appears very happy and relaxed.
The vet said he is the picture of health. He is on
Harrisons pellet food, along with fresh fruit/veggies, and
of course a few of his cheddar flip crackers.
He is a huge talker and interacts very well. He has a
vocabulary of about a 100 words or so and you can carry on
a decent conversation with him.
He loves human interaction and anytime any of my dogs goes
near his cage he'll ask 'what's up buddy?'...they seem a
little shocked that he can talk like me and they can't.
He's a very affectionate bird and will let me
pet/stroke/tickle him all over for as long as I can stand
it. He's great playing with his toys, foraging, etc.
He's started regurgitating food for me and yesterday
started making a strange, heavy breathing type of noise
and vibrated his wings bc he seemed so excited with the
physical affection he was getting from me.
This said, I don't know how to teach him to step up and
down. When the dogs are up, I open the cage for him and
he'll climb out walk around. When he's out though, I
don't think he feels 100% safe and when he tries to get
affection from me, he ends up giving nervous bites-
not 'hard' but hard enough to hurt some and definately
different than it feels when he's putting his beak all
over my fingers to taste me, which has no pressure behind
He will grab my fingers with one foot while I'm petting
him, like he can't get enough and doesn't want me to go
away, but he won't ever put the other foot on my finger to
step up. When it's time for him to go back in the cage, i
always have to get a towel and pick him up to be put back
in. He doesn't seem to mind it very much and starts
talking as soon as he's back on a perch. He just tries to
skiddle away ever so slightly when he sees the towel, but
doesn't seem 'distressed'. it's just like he doesn't want
to go back in his cage just yet.
How can I teach him up and down without causing him to be
turned off to the idea? He's such a great bird and I want
to do right by him. I've read everything I can get my
hands on, but I'm still new to putting anything into
practice and want to ensure I get it right.
Also, any idea what the noises are that he's making when
he gets excited when I pet him? Or how I can encourage
healthy interaction outside of the cage and discourage
nervous biting? I've been doing the whole 'look of
dissapointment with a quick no' thing, but I don't know
that it's doing much. I know it will take time, but want
to ensure I'm doing things right so that I don't get him
into 'habits' of behaving badly, etc. I don't want him to
suffer bc of my ignorance, you know?
Thanks for any help.
OH! and what full spectrum light/lamp do you recommend?